An Elegant Ritual with the Mehmet Ali Sanlikol Trio

The Mehmet Ali Sanlikol Trio perform the unique music of composer Mehmet Ali Sanlikol.

April 18, 2020 – 7:30pm – Most likely postponed

Saint Paul’s Parish, The Episcopal Church in Malden
26 Washington Street, Malden, MA 02148-8299


  • In advance – $18 adults | $12 seniors/students
  • At door – $22 adults | $15 seniors/students

The Program

In Sufism (Islamic mysticism) the rose represents God and/or the teacher who guides dervishes on the spiritual path that leads to the true love of God — the compositions in this concert have been created and structured with influences coming from the rituals of Sufi dervishes as well as John Coltrane, the most significant spiritual voice in Jazz history.

The Mehmet Ali Sanlikol Trio

Mehmet Ali Sanlikol
Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, James Heazlewood-Dale, and George Lernis

The Mehmet Ali Sanlikol Trio performs Grammy nominated composer and DownBeat’s September 2016 Editor’s pick Jazz pianist Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol’s unique blend of innovative Turkish music influenced compositions in which Near and Middle Eastern modes and rhythmic cycles are not simply placed next to contemporary Jazz but are intertwined with it. 

Indeed, Sanlıkol believes that the kind of globalism that surrounds us in the 21st century is a paradoxical experience which through media saturation of the musics of “the other” creates an illusion of immediacy and ubiquity. Therefore, it is no surprise that so many musicians subscribe to this illusion and, rather than internalizing new musical languages and stylistic elements, they instead reduce them to stereotypes.

Sanlıkol hopes to demonstrate a style of writing and performance in contemporary jazz that is cosmopolitan, pluralist and inclusive without reducing or standardizing the musical languages which influenced it. The Boston Globe calls Sanlıkol’s music “colorful, fanciful, full of rhythmic life, and full of feeling,” adding that it is “not touristy, but rather sophisticated, informed, internalized.” Sanlıkol is joined by musically multifaceted George Lernis on drums and percussion, and James Heazlewood-Dale on bass. The extensive knowledge and experience of George Lernis in the traditional musics of the Near and Middle East as well as James’ studies of these traditions with Sanlıkol gives the trio a coherent and a unique sound.

Mehmet Ali Sanlikol

Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol has been praised by critics all over the world for his unique, pluralist, multicultural and energetic musical voice, as both composer and performer. An active scholar, a Harvard CMES fellow (2013-15) and multi-instrumentalist, Sanlıkol, who hails from Cyprus and Turkey, is currently a full-time faculty member at New England Conservatory and is the director of New England Conservatory’s Intercultural Institute. Mehmet composed for, performed and toured with international stars and ensembles such as Anat Cohen, Dave Liebman, Tiger Okoshi, Antonio Sanchez, Bob Brookmeyer, Esperanza Spalding, Erkan Oğur, Brenna MacCrimmon, The Boston Camerata and American Composers Orchestra at numerous prestigious International Music Festivals and venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Blue Note Jazz club in New York. Sanlıkol actively delivers papers and talks at academic conferences such as International Conference on Analytical Approaches to World Music, Society for Ethnomusicology and Sohbet-i Osmani series at Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. His book, entitled The Musician Mehters, about the organization and the music of the Ottoman Janissary Bands has been published during 2011 in English by The ISIS press and in Turkish by Yapı Kredi Yayınları.

James Heazlewood-Dale

James Heazlewood-Dale is from Australia, where he graduated from Sydney Conservatorium with a full scholarship and first class honors. He later received a full scholarship for his studies at Berklee College of Music. James completed his Master’s degree at New England Conservatory where he studied under the tuition of world-class artists such as Dave Holland, Jerry Bergonzi, and Jason Moran. Having played with some of the world’s top jazz musicians such as Maria Schneider, Aaron Goldberg, Kurt Elling, Monty Alexander, Terence Blanchard, Donny McCaslin, George Garzone, Dave Douglas, Bob Moses, Jason Palmer, Ernie Watts and Will Vincent, he continues to be extensively active in the Boston music scene while pursuing a doctoral degree at Brandeis University.

George Lernis

Born and raised in Nicosia, Cyprus George Lernis is a drummer and world percussionist. In addition to the drums George specializes in a number of world percussion instruments such as the darbuka (goblet drum), bendir (frame drum), riq (small frame drum with cymbals), kudüm (kettledrums), davul (bass drum), cajon (box-shaped drum), pandeiro (frame drum with jingles) and congas just to name a few. George holds a bachelor’s degree from Berklee College of Music in Jazz Performance and a Master’s degree from Longy Conservatory in Modern American Music. During his time at Berklee George studied privately with Bob Gulloti, John Ramsey, Jerry Leake, Mark Walker, Gary Burton, Victor Mendoza and Gary Chaffee among others. Over the last few years George has recorded and collaborated with prominent figures and ensembles including Dave Liebman, Anat Cohen, Antonio Sanchez, Tiger Okoshi, Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol and A Far Cry String Orchestra. Currently, George tours regularly in the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and resides in Boston, MA where he teaches privately and performs in a number of ensembles.